Porterfield’s unbeaten 75 gets Ireland home in warm-up clash
Disciplined bowling display helps restrict target to 140 against the Netherlands
William Porterfield’s unbeaten 75 from 58 balls helped Ireland to a six-wicket victory over the Netherlands in a World Twenty20 qualifier warm-up game in Abu Dhabi. Photograph: Barry Chambers/Inpho
Captain William Porterfield made an unbeaten 75 from just 58 deliveries as Ireland beat the Netherlands by six wickets in Abu Dhabi in the first of two official warm-up games ahead of the World Twenty20 qualifier.
Chasing a target of 140 and with seven needed from the final over, Porterfield struck Ahsan Malik’s first delivery deep over the midwicket boundary to tie the scores, and then sealed the win with a punch down the ground to the ropes. His innings contained seven fours and two sixes.
Porterfield had lost opening partner Paul Stirling for a duck in the first over, but in partnership with Niall O’Brien added 70 before the Leicestershire left-hander was deceived by a Malik slower ball, having made 34 from 32 balls.
Kevin O’Brien struck two boundaries in a brisk 13, while Gary Wilson made a run a ball 19 as Ireland were always in control of the run chase.
Earlier Alex Cusack (2-14) had starred with the ball as the Irish restricted the Dutch to 139 for 5, a score that was slightly below par on an easy paced pitch and lightning fast outfield.
Wesley Barresi top scored with a composed 50 from 46 balls, sharing an opening stand of 42 with Stephan Myburgh (22), before Max Sorensen (2-31) had the left-hander caught at mid-off by Niall O’Brien.
Eric Szwarcynski (14) and Daan van Bunge (one) went in quick succession but Ben Cooper joined Barresi and the pair batted fluently in adding 62 in just 49 balls.
Cooper, younger brother of South Australian player Tom, looked in fine touch as he scored an unbeaten 42 from just 29 balls, which included two huge sixes.
The Irish fielders backed up a disciplined bowling display which meant the Netherlands were always on the back foot.
Ireland’s final warm-up game sees them travel to Dubai on Wednesday where they take on Papua New Guinea. Their first match in the tournament proper sees them face Namibia again in Abu Dhabi.
Batsman Ed Joyce is set to miss the start of the qualifier as he has remained in England for the birth of his second child.
Six of the 16 teams in action will qualify for the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh next March, with Ireland coming into the qualifying tournament as defending champions
ICC World T20 qualifier warm-up (at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi): The Netherlands 139-5 (20 ovs) (W Barresi 50, B Cooper 42no, S Myburgh 22; A Cusack 2-14, M Sorensen 2-31), Ireland 143-4 (19.4 ovs) (W Porterfield 75no, N O’Brien 34, G Wilson 19; M Bukhari 2-25). Ireland won by 6 wkts.